NIU’s Global Round-up: Meeting the nutritional needs of female athletes, omega-3 demand across LATAM, and more

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / bluebay2014
© Getty Images / bluebay2014
It’s a global industry and there’s a lot happening. We know it’s not always easy keeping up with everything that’s happening around the world that could impact the US dietary supplements industry. The answer? Our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.


GOED report shines spotlight on infant formula opportunity for omega-3s in South America

Demand from infant formula is driving a significant surge for omega-3 ingredients in South America, according to the Global Organization for EPA and DHA omega-3 (GOED).

GOED's latest annual Global EPA and DHA Omega-3 Ingredient Market Report*​ indicated that volume demand for omega-3s for infant formula grew 13.7% in South America [Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru] and 13.3% in Mexico over a two-year period between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017.

Dietary supplements remained the largest final product category for omega-3s in both markets, in volume and value terms, demand in volumes grew less over the review period – 6% for South America and 6.8% for Mexico.

Speaking with NutraIngredients-LATAM, Chris Gearheart, GOED’s director of member communications and engagement, said infant formula was certainly a fast-evolving category for omega-3s in South America and Mexico.

“Especially for South America, infant formula is definitely the shining star in terms of demand,”​ he said.

*GOED divides Latin America into three categories for its annual review: Mexico as a standalone market due to its size; South America as a blend of four key markets – Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru; and Central America and the Caribbean within 'rest of world' due to minimal activity.

For more on this, please click HERE​.


NZ researchers re-dress imbalance by ramping up efforts to meet nutritional needs of female athletes

Scientists in New Zealand are beginning to shift their focus from male to female athletes in a bid to redress in imbalance in sports nutrition research.

A recent review, published in the Strength & Conditioning Journal​, highlighted the harmful effects of ignoring female athletes' nutritional needs, along with the dearth of existing research on those needs.

Lead author Dr Katherine Black from the University of Otago told our Asian edition​ that an overwhelming majority of studies on athletic nutrition so far have focused on male athletes.

However, the increasing number of female athletes necessitates more research on their specific nutritional needs, which differ significantly from those of male athletes.

“We've observed that a lot of female athletes don't consume sufficient amounts of food and drink to meet their energy needs, especially after exercise, which is putting their health at risk.

“Health-related factors we were looking out for included disruptions to the menstrual cycle, which we saw across all age groups. The youngest athletes could develop such issues due to pressure to perform, and middle-aged, peri-menopausal active women could also be under pressure from body image issues.”


Omega-3 firms’ appeals in vain as EMA confirm medicine ‘not effective’ post heart attack

Omega-3 heart © Getty Images Naked King
© Getty Images / Naked King

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed that omega-3 fatty acids are not effective in preventing further cardiovascular problems in patients who have had a heart attack, effectively reversing a position adopted by several EU countries in 2000.

Reviewing data from the open-label ‘GISSI Prevenzione’ study performed in 1999 (which supported the initial authorization) and more recent randomized controlled clinical trials, retrospective cohort studies and meta-analyses led to the conclusion that, while a small relative risk reduction was seen in the original open label GISSI Prevenzione study, the beneficial effects were not confirmed in more recent randomized controlled trials.

Findings from the review do not affect the authorization of omega-3 fatty acid medicines for the treatment of high levels of triglycerides in the blood or hypertriglyceridemia.

For more on this, please click HERE​.


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